Survey Reveals that Most Americans are Not Concerned About Getting Lung Cancer, Nation’s Leading Cause of Cancer Deaths

American Lung Association releases data that examines Americans’ knowledge about lung cancer on World Lung Cancer Day

Survey data released today show that only 40% of Americans are concerned that they might get lung cancer and only about one in five have talked to their doctor about their risk for the disease, despite lung cancer being the leading cause of cancer deaths in the U.S. Today on World Lung Cancer Day, the American Lung Association’s LUNG FORCE initiative released the 2022 Lung Health Barometer, a national survey that examines awareness, attitudes and beliefs about lung cancer.

“Lung cancer’s burden on families, individuals and our healthcare system is far too great, and awareness about the disease is too low. In fact, only 29% of Americans know that lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in the U.S. This low awareness is due in part to an undeserved stigma that has followed lung cancer for decades. The fact is that anyone can get lung cancer, and no one deserves it,” said Harold Wimmer, National President and CEO of the American Lung Association. “The good news is that the lung cancer survival rate has risen substantially, and awareness of this deadly disease has steadily increased. Greater awareness of lung cancer is key to securing research funding, encouraging lung cancer screening, reducing stigma around this disease, and ultimately, saving lives.”

The 2022 Lung Health Barometer surveyed 4,000 Americans nationwide about lung health and lung cancer. Key findings show that: 

  • Only about one in four respondents (26%) were aware that the lung cancer survival rate increased by over 30% in the past ten years.
  • 73% of adults have not spoken with their doctor about their risk for lung cancer and only 40% are concerned they might get the disease. 
  • Only 29% of Americans know that lung cancer is the leading cancer killer.
  • Nearly 70% of respondents were not familiar with the availability of lung cancer screening for early detection of the disease.

See more Lung Health Barometer survey results here.

Lung cancer screening is key to early diagnosis, and early diagnosis saves lives. While awareness about the screening is still low, there has been significant work done recently to increase eligibility. Last year, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force expanded the guidelines for screening to include individuals ages 50 to 80 years who have a 20 pack-year smoking history and currently smoke or have quit within the past 15 years. This nearly doubled the number of individuals eligible for screening and has the potential to save significantly more lives than previous guidelines. Learn more about lung cancer screening at SavedbytheScan.org

This is the seventh year of the Lung Health Barometer, which is conducted by the Lung Association’s LUNG FORCE initiative. LUNG FORCE unites those impacted by lung cancer and their caregivers across the country to stand together against lung cancer. 

For media interested in scheduling an interview with a lung cancer expert, contact Jill Dale at 312-940-7001 or [email protected] 

For more information, contact:

Jill Dale
312-940-7001
[email protected]

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